Input from Around the World to President-elect Obama on Global Warming

This post first appeared on NRDC’s Switchboard.

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The world is reacting to the election of President-elect Obama. I understand that Europeans, Nelson Mandela, Kenyans, Mexico and elsewhere (to name a few) were thrilled by the opportunities presented by a change in leadership in the US and the election of Obama.

As a tax-deductible, non-partisan organization, NRDC did not endorse specific candidates. But now that the election has been decided, NRDC and our partner groups are prepared to work with President-elect Obama and the new Congress to restore America's leadership in international global warming negotiations (as I discussed earlier). So the international global warming community was also reacting positively to his election. Here are some snippets from around the "international climate world":

Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:

"It is impossible to advance on this important topic without the full engagement of the United States. I am very encouraged by the stated commitment of Senator Obama to the issue of climate change, and I really hope that he or his representatives can come to the climate change conference in Poznan (in western Poland) and speak to his vision of the way forward."

R K Pachauri, Chairman of the Nobel Prize Winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

"US leadership is critical for mounting global efforts to meet this threat effectively. For this reason itself, apart from several others, the election of Obama is a development that should generate optimism all-round."

Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South African Environment Minister:

"The U.S. election outcome could provide new momentum to the climate negotiations. But we should remain realistic. Obama's plans were "not as ambitious as we would like to see."

Connie Hedegaard, Denmark's Climate Change Minister (Denmark will host the climate negotiations in December 2009 where negotiators agreed to reach a new accord):

Obama "has a lot to do in a very short time."

Penny Wong, Australia's Climate Change Minister:

"We have always said that for an effective global agreement to be in place we will need leadership from the United States and we will need the engagement particularly with China and also with India. We know that the United States is key to an effective global agreement."

Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

"Barack Obama's election is a victory for everyone who wants new solutions that will repower, refuel, and rebuild America. Through a comprehensive approach, we can create clean energy, cut our dependence on oil and create millions of new jobs. From taking on global warming to advancing clean energy, President-elect Obama has sent a clear message that he will make progress on the environmental and energy challenges that our nation faces today."

So, a number of key international climate players are pushing for US leadership on international efforts to solve global warming. See, it isn't just me calling for "American Leadership".

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